• Kardajala Kirridarra translates to ‘Sandhill Women.’ Kardajala is the name of the mysterious bush woman from the sandhills behind the community of Malinja, NT. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Honouring language, culture and family with songs inspired by country, Kardajala Kirridarra, is an all female musical collaboration making waves with their recently released debut self-titled album.
By
Emily Nicol

25 Jul 2017 - 11:15 AM  UPDATED 25 Jul 2017 - 11:15 AM

Kardajala Kirridarra ('Sandhill Women' - named after the mysterious bush woman from the sandhills behind the community of Marlinja)  is a family group consisting of Eleanor ‘Nalyiri' Dixon (Rayella, Desert Divas), a Mudburra woman from Marlinja, Janey ‘Namija’ Dixon, MC Kayla Jackson, also a Mudburra woman from Kulumindini community and Beatrice ‘Nalyiri’ Lewis, a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and electronic producer who splits her time between Melbourne and the Central desert of Australia.

Dixon says that the idea to form the group came about when she first sang Abala Barlawa. "When I first sung Abala Barlawa ... the song came out of country. So both me and Beatrice knew from then that that very sound of country needed to be heard."

With the help of the Barkly Regional Council’s National award-winning ‘Barkly Desert Cultures’ Multimedia program, the two followed that feeling and formed a band to continue to create songs that empower women, continue language and bring to life the sounds of the land. The music, which has a lush electronic feel and features sounds such as seed pods, thunders storms and clap sticks made by Eleanor’s father, was made in a hall in the back of Marlinja during the long hot days of summer, then mixed and mastered in Melbourne by Marc Peckham aka. MonkeyMarc.

Dixon describes the dynamic of the group as being clear that there is a strong bond and shared values. "The most important thing about me is that I carry myself as a spiritual being and not a human being, so me being me is just that. I love being with these ladies. The thing I love the most about being together is having lalija (tea), listening to music and just laughing and yarning. Our energies put together is the most beautiful thing to be around I reckon."

"The most important thing about me is that I carry myself as a spiritual being and not a human being so me being me is just that."

"Aunty Janey Namija, is the key translator, poet, spirit guide and queen camel [Laughs]. MC Kayla who is my niece but is of course, our MC. She is also a very beautiful expressionist who is very connected to herself as a young woman. Lastly is my Bubba (sister) Beatrice Nalyirri Lewis whom I cherish, is our sound carrier, our beat maker. She is also a very beautiful singer/songwriter. A very good lalija maker as well ... And she has great taste in music. That's us."

 

The group have already picked up two MusicNT 'Song of the Year Award' nominations, are set to showcase at this year's BigSound music conference, the biggest of it's kind in the Southern hemisphere and are in rotation on triple j.

 
 

 
Learn more about the message of Kardajala Kirridarra through their beautiful lyrics and inspiration behind each track:
 

Abala Barlawa (Everything was at Peace)

This song is about feeling sad for the country you are from because of the destruction and change that was
brought about by the arrival of white man.

Mungarrangarnadarra bali

Kayina mujumujungka

Yulu ngurrangka

Barrakurrungka yulu

Abala barlawa

 

Karribadarra bali birrkamarna

Nyamba nyamba darra

Nginyangka ngurra

Wangi wangingka

Abala barlawa 

 

Verse 1:

Marndiyarla ngainya ngurra

Wangi kudij kayini

Karri bali bali wangi

Yuwarna ngainya ngurra

Kudij kayini 

Pre Chorus:

Abala Baralha kayina

 Chorus:

Marndiyarla/ngainya ngurra 

 

Verse 2:

Abala barlawa kayina

Ngainya ngurra barngarla

Kudij kayini muju barlawa

Karri muju ngurrangka

Ngainya ngurra 

 

Chorus:

Marndiyarla/ngainya ngurra 

Marndiyarla/ngainya ngurrangka

 

Two Worlds Collide

This is a story of a young Indigenous women standing in between her traditional world and the modern world, trying to work out where she belongs.
 

In the beginning

She is just a girl

She is not yet a woman of this world

Trying to understand

Her place on this land

Finding her path by the

Footprints in the sand

 

Ancient time in a new paradigm x 4

The sand shifts as two worlds collide x 4

 

In the beginning

Our world was at peace

Now there is two worlds

And she walks in between

A shield that can’t be seen

Divides humanity

Protecting each other

From the fear they believe

 

Ancient time in a new paradigm x 4

The sand shifts as two worlds collide x 4

 

Two worlds collide x 8

 
 

Warmala (Young Girl ’s song)

The story of a young girl coming of age and how she is soon to become a women.
 

Verse 1:

Nginya-ma yurrwa

Barna marnini

Warmala-darra

Abala bali

Karri kirri wanya

Nyunduma warmala

Lankaj karri yurrawarra

Mungarrangka yurrawara

Kardibangka nginyi yurrawarra

 

Chorus:

Barnangku marnini

Nyundu warmaladarra

 

Nyamba ban marnini

Ngayu nyundu-ma

Barnangku marru

Ban wanya kirri karri

Marndaj barna lankaj

Kayini nganyina yurrwarra

 

Verse 2:

Nginya-ma warmala

Wirlankarra kayini

Ngamu kaini

Nginya-ma warmala

Winlankara kayini

Nginya-ma warmala

Abala wanya ban karri

Kirra wanya

Karuwurru

 

Chorus:

Barnangku marnini

Nyundu warmaladarra

 

Nyamba ban marnini

Ngayu nyundu-ma

 
 

Ngabaju (Grandmothers Song)

A song about the importance of Grandmother’s and how they carry so much knowledge of life and of being a woman.
 

Verse 1:

Barna nguran kayini

Ngainya ngabaju ngurra

Kudij kayini

Ban ngarrangarna

Nyuninya ngurra

Barrakurra

 

Barna liward kayini

Ngainya ngabaju nginyi

Ngurra barrakurru

Barna liward kayini

Nyuninya ngurra

Barrakurru

 

You taught me so much

about everything I know

but looking at this country

without you to show

me all the meanings

all the places I should go

it breaks my sore heart

that I don’t know the flow

now that I’m older

I see what you mean to me

I see the kind of woman

that I’m meant to be

I want you to know

I gave my daughter your name

Didn’t know it was possible

to feel this much pain

 

Chorus:

Abala ban nyundu

Ngarrangarna ngayinya

Ngurru

Kudij kayini 

 

Marndiyala

Marndiyala

Marndiyala ngurra

Marndiyala ngurra

 

Verse 2:

Abala ban ngayu,

Liward kayini

Nyuninya banku ngurra

Muju muju barna kayini

Abala ban

Ngarrangarna ngayu

 

Kudij kayini

Nginyangka

Ngurra barrakurru

Nginyangka ngurra

Kudij kayini

Barrakurru

 

Chorus:

Abala ban nyundu

Ngarrangarna ngainya

Ngurru

Kudij kayini x 2

 

Marndiyala

Marndiyala

Marndiyala ngurra

Marndiyala ngurra

 

Ngurra (Rain Song)

Yali marri (Look clouds are coming) A song about being connected to the land through rain.
 

Larrba nginya ma

Barlawa karri

Muju barlawa

Kayina yukungka

Abala barlawa kayina

Buji ngarna

Muju muju barlawa Karri

 

Yali yali marradiya

Nguku-wurru munymunyyarra

Kayini Lurrba

Nginya-karra x2

 

Barlawa wanya

Karnju karudarra

Nguku warndini wanya

Kudij karri nginya-ka

Abala wanya

Nguku wangka ban

Yandurru wajkarra

 

Yali-yali marradiya

Nguku-wurra munymunyyarra

Kayini lurrba

Nginya-karra x 2

 

Ngurramarla (Love Song)

Story of being a caretaker, an instrument, a protector, a voice and a mother to the country you are from.
 

Verse 1:

Country is family

Country is sacred

It is our spirit that helped create it

This is the story of being Aboriginal

Women of the sand hills

We are the original

We have connections

To this land

We are one

Together we stand

We are the family

Together as one

On these sand hills

Under the sun

And when we leave our spirit stays

With our country our spirit remains

 

Chorus:

Barnangku ngarrangarnini

Ngayinya bayi ngurlu

Ngurramarlangka

 

Verse 2:

It's our responsibility

To take care of community

Together we share this land

Cause we are all family

Teach our children of the old ways

Keep culture strong keep it maintained

Showing our children right from wrong

The meaning of culture

How to keep it strong

Now we have a new generation

Walk among spirits of the past

Now we all stand together

And together we'll make it last

 

Chorus:

Barnangku ngarrngarnani

Ngayinya bayi ngurlu

Ngurramarlangka

 

Kirridarra (Women ’s Song)

A song of praises for women. For women are the life givers. The creators. Karuwurru (all the children). Mothers
 
Verse 1:

Dardu bali kirridarra bali karlunini

Nyarnunya ngurlu abala bali kayini

 

Nginyangka mujumuju bali

Karri nginyangka

Nginyangka mujumuju bali

Karri nginyangka

 

Chorus:

Kirridarra buji ngurlu

Barlawa kayini

Karlurnini nginyamadarra

Nyinyangka

Marndamarnda

 

Abala barlawa karlunini

Yukungka nyinyangka

Ngurramarlangka

 

Verse 2:

Kirridarra bali wirlarnkarra kayini

Abala bali karlunini ngurlu

Nyarninya nyambarra bali karlini

Abala bali muju karlurini

Marndamarndangka

 

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